Saturday, April 08, 2006

What did Larry Drummond find in Islam?

Willimantic man with AIDS: 'Now I'm dying to live'
WILLIMANTIC--Larry Drummond rises before daybreak these days to an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar town and orders his broken body out of bed.
From his hoarse throat, he forces an alhamdulillah, the Muslim prayer uttered upon awakening.

While using the toilet, the 46-year-old glances at his lesioned face, which is scarred from scuffles of years past. He returns bedside to tuck his stiff legs into a kneeling position. They were hardened one bleak day, 26 years ago, when he set himself on fire.
Then he prostrates himself to the East, lowering his swollen belly to the ground -- the AIDS medication, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C engorging his liver.
He prays.
"Me having AIDS and finding Islam is the best things that has ever happened to me," the Hartford native said. "I once had a monster inside me, and a crook and a thief inside me. AIDS taught me to be humble, and to change."
"AIDS came to me first. Then Islam a few years later," said Drummond, who wears a kufi skull cap and prostrates five times a day. He reads from a well-leafed Quran every day -- a habit from his prison days.
"I'd tried everything else, and Islam finally kept me in check."